Hello, smart shoppers! This week you're in for a special treat.
Biscotti have become an all-time favorite and I must give you a regular and low-fat version of Almond Biscotti from P.J. of Port St. Lucie. I will also give you a superb recipe for Pistachio-Orange Biscotti from Liz Behm, giving you both the regular and low-fat version.
When I mention a butter substitute, Smart Balance (the original version) is my preferred choice.
What's great about biscotti is they contain only about 100 calories and one equals about two regular cookies; great for a treat even on a diet. The nuts add fat and calories, but they are a good for you fat.
NOTE: Always preheat oven for 20 minutes; an oven thermometer is a must. Bake at 350. Do not use dark pans; they burn too easily.
Biscotti are twice baked; baked, sliced 1/2-inch thick with a serrated knife then baked again.
To prevent crumbling when slicing, simply spritz logs with water then wait 5 minutes.
Rather than laying them down to bake each side, Liz suggests standing them up (both sides bake at the same time). For soft biscotti simply eliminate the second baking.
Biscotti can be stored in air-tight containers for up to two weeks. To freeze, place in gallon zipper bags with waxed paper between the layers.
You can dip in or frost with melted chocolate afterward.
NOTE: Many times it is difficult to find unsalted nuts. If salted, rinse nuts, drain and bake on a cookie sheet at 300 until dry. Omit salt in recipe.
Enjoy. See you next week.
ALMOND BISCOTTI (NIB)
regular or low fat, low cholesterol
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sliced almonds
3 large eggs or 6 egg whites or 3/4-cup egg substitute
2/3-cup butter or butter substitute, softened, or 2/3-cup canola oil
1 cup sugar or use 1/2-cup sugar, 1/2-cup Splenda
2 teaspoons almond flavoring
Mix together flour, baking powder and almonds in a large bowl. In another bowl blend eggs, oil, sugar and flavoring. Gradually add to flour mixture mixing thoroughly. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.
Using a butter substitute, lightly grease a cookie sheet; shape each piece of dough into a 12-inch log. Bake until golden for 20-30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on wire rack.
Proceed as explained above. Dried cranberries and vanilla may be substituted for the almonds and almond flavoring.
PISTACHIO-ORANGE BISCOTTI (NIB)
regular and low fat, low cholesterol
makes about 3 dozen
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2-teaspoon baking powder
1/2-teaspoon baking soda
1/2-cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or butter substitute, softened
1 cup sugar or half sugar, half Splenda
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs or 4 egg whites or 1/2-cup egg substitute
1-1/2 cups unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
Butter 1 jellyroll pan (baking sheet with sides). Sift together first 4 ingredients into a bowl; set aside. Combine butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, add the nuts and mix in. Add the flour mixture and mix only until incorporated. Dough will be soft.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. Divide dough in half. Using lightly floured hands, roll each half on a lightly floured surface into a log 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Arrange logs on baking sheet placing them 5-inches apart. Bake until light brown and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Logs will spread during baking. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes; follow directions as explained above.
THE GURU'S SPECIAL HINT
Ovens don't have a rack directly in the center. To prevent cookies or cakes from burning on the bottom, place the rack just above the oven's center. For pies, place rack just below the center.
If you're looking for a recipe, just go to my site and follow the instructions to the archives; there you'll find dozens of columns.
For an autographed cookbook visit www.romancingthestove.net.